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grandson EP: a modern tragedy vol. 3


Grandson, signed by record label Fueled by Ramen in 2016, has a passionate fan base fostered by his intense guitar riffs and biting lyrics that expose the social state of the nation and the corruption in the U.S. government. Grandson’s commitment to lyrics that expose politics and point out hypocrisies in American society point to a more meaningful mission, one that goes further than just creating music. He wants to promote critical thinking, the formulation of original opinions about current national affairs, and youth activism. He attempts this while fostering a safe-space for a community of fans he’s dubbed “The Grandkids.” Just two weeks ago he released his latest EP titled a modern tragedy vol. 3, the final entry in a trilogy of EPs.

The Toronto native calls his music rock and roll, but the influences and layers of sound on each track reference a variety of genres including alternative, hip-hop, EDM, trap, and new metal. Record mixers and synthesizers create an industrial sound— this unique style has attracted a loyal following. Grandson’s inspirations include the likes of Marilyn Manson, Eminem, Rage Against the Machine, and Nirvana.

From lyrics on his third EP such as, “my president’s a neo-Nazi,” in the song “Die Young,” to some of the older fan faves like, “all fun and games ‘til I hit the floor, comatose,” in the song “Overdose,” grandson routinely uses radical statements to wake up his listeners from the numbed state of constant exposure to a news-cycle that revolves around tragedies and violence.

The song “Thoughts and Prayers” advocates for more than mere condolences from political leaders, instead demanding an end to gun violence. With the lyrics, “The silent are damned, the body count is on your hands,” grandson pierces through the shrug of complacency and urges people to feel the gravity of the issue. The song is a raw look at the systemic failures that have led to feelings of disenfranchisement for so many Americans. These lyrics, coupled with heavy guitar and electronic-infused beat negates the need to become angry and upset. The frustration in his music results in a cathartic release of tension. It demands a level of empathy and social awareness from the listener. It encourages consideration of the conditions that push people to do the things that they do and inspires a broader constructive discussion for change and progressivism. This explicit exposition spurs a more implicit call to action for his listeners to be the driving force for social change.

Grandson’s admirable mission extends farther than his politically-fueled rock. In 2018, he acknowledged that the main issue with progressive political campaigns is in sustaining motivation to reach an end goal in order to persist past the “constant outrage and nothing happens” cycle. Seeking a solution to this frustration, grandson created a community called the xxresistance which he defines as, “a movement where grandkids can come together to make a difference.” By empowering young people with a “don’t get mad, get involved” attitude, grandson empowers the future and gives youth a place to form and voice opinions about how to fix our corrupt governments and pressing social issues.

I was lucky enough to meet grandson in person last weekend at a free meet and greet. He really is as bold, genuine, and humble as his music portrays him to be. As I explained how much his music meant to me and how unique he is in the industry, he was immediately appreciative. It feels so good when your role model turns out to be everything you expected. Being at his concert and screaming the words to every song while glancing at the guy next to me simultaneously banging his head made me feel so accepted. I’ve never felt less alone and more like myself in my life; grandson, you are doing everything right.

Find more about grandson here!


Skye Hartsoe

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